I have no idea why, but I suddenly decided it was time to make some jam. I think it has something to do with me now owning a digital thermometer which has made me brave. I like making jam but I do tend to over cook it terribly. I remember the time I made plum jam which was closer to plum toffee by the time it was bottled. It was completely inedible and I had to throw it out.
When I looked through my freezer I found a few packets of frozen berries lurking so I made this jam using fresh blackberries and raspberries combined with frozen, defrosted blueberries and raspberries. I used this recipe but halved the quantities, added a vanilla pod and slightly modified the technique. It made a lovely runny, flavoursome jam which I served with some freshly baked scones.
Here's the recipe for you. It made two 400 mls pots of jam.
Summer Berry Jam
2 cups white sugar
375g strawberries, washed, dried, hulled and quartered if large
100g blackberries, washed, dried
1 vanilla pod
100g raspberries, washed, dried
100g blueberries, washed, dried
To sterilize jars, wash in hot soapy water and rinse. Place the jars and lids in a deep saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring water to the boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium and boil for 10 minutes. Line a baking tray with paper towel. Remove the jars using metal tongs and allow to air dry or dry with a clean paper towel.
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the sugar on an oven tray and warm the sugar for 15 minutes. Meanwhile place a saucer in the freezer to test the jam’s setting point.
Juice the lemon and reserve the seeds. Place the seeds in a small piece of muslin and tie with kitchen string to secure. Combine the strawberries, blackberries, lemon juice, lemon seeds, the vanilla pod and sugar in a shallow saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil stirring occasionally for 20 minutes or until jam is reduced by one-quarter.
Remove the lemon seeds and vanilla pod from the jam then add the raspberries and blueberries. Cook, stirring occasionally for a further 5 minutes or until jam has reached it’s setting point (105°C). To check when jam is set, remove the jam from the heat and place a spoonful of hot jam onto the chilled saucer. Return to the freezer for 1 minute. Run your finger through the jam to test if it wrinkles and jells. If it doesn't, return to the heat for a further 5 minutes then repeat the test.
Take the jam from the heat and allow to cool for a minute or 2 before spooning the hot jam evenly among the sterilized jars. Seal immediately then turn the jars upside down for 2 minutes before turning upright. Set the jam aside to cool completely before labelling and dating.
It's Australia Day next weekend and I'll be on pavlova duty. I'm making a pavlova to take with me to dinner so if I get a chance I'll take a few snaps to share with you.
See you all again next week,